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Lafayette Drillers Flashback: Rick Sanderlin

(Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)

 

The Lafayette Drillers, a Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, called Lafayette, Louisiana their home for two years, from 1975-1976.

The Drillers, who played their home games at Clark Field, were co-champions of the Texas League in 1975 with the Midland Cubs, finishing 72-57, before going 58-76 in 1976, the last year of affiliated professional baseball in Lafayette.

A number of outstanding players, who eventually made it into Major League Baseball ranks played at Clark Field in 1975 & 1976, including five former Lafayette Driller players.

All summer long, we’re taking a look back at some of the former players for the Drillers.

Today, Rick Sanderlin:

Sanderlin was an outfielder for the Drillers during the 1976 season.

A native of Pasadena, California, Sanderlin attended Mission Bay High School in San Diego, California, before being drafted in the 8th round of the 1970 Major League Baseball Draft by the Houston Astros at the age of 18.

The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Sanderlin made minor league stops in Covington, Virginia, Sumter, South Carolina, Decatur, Georgia and Fresno, California before joining the Drillers in 1976, at the age of 24.

With Lafayette, Sanderlin hit a .273, along with one home run, 33 runs batted in, and ten stolen bases.

In 400 at-bats, Sanderlin, a right-handed hitter, collected 109 hits, including 11 doubles, along with 31 walks and 58 strikeouts.

Defensively, Sanderlin played 117 games in the outfield, committing five errors.

The following year, in 1977, Sanderlin advanced to AAA Phoenix, where he plaed three seasons, before retiring.

Sanderlin compiled a .266 career batting average, along with 20 home runs, 307 RBI’s, and 121 stolen bases in 828 minor league games, covering nine seasons.

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